What Are Wiper Blades?
Wiper blades, also known as windscreen wipers or windshield wipers, are a legal requirement in most countries. They are used on cars, buses, trucks, earth-moving vehicles, locomotives, aircraft and ships to remove rain, dust and mud to keep the windshield clean. In general, the wiper assembly consists of a spring loaded arm to keep an even pressure on the windshield, and a rubber wiper blade in contact with the windshield glass. The arm pivots at one end from where it rocks back and forth over the windshield, in the process of which the rubber blade removes water and other debris from its surface. The wiper movement is adjustable in most vehicles – it can work at different speed settings compatible with the force of the rain, or it can work intermittently if the rain is light. Most vehicles have two radial wiper arms which are synchronized. Some vehicles with larger windshields might have more than two wipers while other vehicles use only a single wiper with a large enough sweep to cover the entire windshield. Wiper blades are available in a range of designs. All of today’s cars are fitted with wiper blades with washer jets to more effectively clean the windshield.
How Are Windshield Wipers Powered?
On most vehicles wipers are electrically operated with a separate wiper motor linked to power two wiper arms. In many vehicles which use air-operated brakes, the wipers are pneumatically driven by pressurized air tapped off the braking system.
Are There Any Other Kinds Of Wipers?
Many modern vehicles are fitted with rain-sensing wipers. These are programmable intelligent wipers with rain sensors to detect the presence and intensity of rain. They are self-operating and run at a frequency consistent with the rain intensity. Many cars today are fitted with rear screen wipers on the back window. For a time, headlight wipers were attached to some premium cars. These have since been replaced with pressure jets which perform the same task.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Wiper Blades?
Standard Type Wiper Blades
This the conventional wiper design fitted to most vehicles. The arm is hook-shaped and the blades range between 10” and 28” long.
Spoiler Type Wiper Blades
This type has a full-length spoiler which runs the length of the blade. It is generally used only on the driver’s side and helps make better contact between the blade and the glass at high speeds.
Flat or Retrofit Wiper Blades
This is a new technology in wiper blades. It is designed to maintain constant pressure along the length of the blade and to reduce wind noise because of its flatter, aerodynamic shape. Since it is smaller, it creates less obstruction so the driver has a better field of vision.
Specific Fit Wiper Blades
These are customized blades designed to fit specific vehicles.
With most wipers you need to replace only the rubber blade refill when the original becomes hard or gets worn. Replacing a refill blade is a cost-effective alternative though the performance might not be as good as replacing the entire wiper blade.
What Are Wiper blades Made Of?
Most wiper blades are made of natural rubber. But rubber blades become hard and brittle with weather changes, sunlight, dirt and contaminants after which they do not
function efficiently. A worn wiper blade, apart from having a poor wiping action, can scratch the windshield because of abrasion. Newer designs in wiper blade technology use a composite structure of soft, pliable rubber for the squeegee surface, and firm rubber for the body. This combination provides a more efficient wiping action with enhanced support and durability. Popular today are silicone wiper blades which are resistant to general weather conditions and offer an extended life.
What Are The Different Sizes In Wiper Blades?
Standard wiper lengths vary in length from 10” and 40”, and generally come in 1” increments. The best way of buying a replacement is to measure the length of the existing blade.
Which Are The Recommended Wiper Blade Manufacturers?
Windshield wipers are manufactured by a number of reputable companies. Some of the best windshield wiper blades are manufactured by companies listed below:
- Good Year
You can refer to our Best Wiper Blades Product Reviews for more information.
When Should I Replace My Wiper Blades?
Most motorists take their wiper blades for granted and accept less than perfect visibility under adverse conditions. All blades fall victim to weather and other conditions after which their performance is highly unsatisfactory. Examine your wiper blades periodically to ensure they are not cracked and brittle. If the problem is minor, you can Repair Wiper Blades on your own. Their performance is a good indicator of their condition. As a guideline, the experts recommend a wiper blade change once every six to twelve months for optimum performance and visibility. You can read more about Wiper Blades Tips to learn how to learn about different wiper blades and maintenance.
Where Do I Buy Good Wiper Blades?
Wiper blades of the best known manufacturers are stocked by all automotive stores and garages. However you can surf the internet and get some great deals online at Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Target. There are also online car accessories store selling a wide range of windshield wiper blades. The complete range of popular Trico wiper blades and Goodyear wiper blades are easily available online.